Millennials might love any excuse to get a perfect Instagram shot, but the promise of an "I Voted" sticker selfie hasn't always been enough to get them to the polls. But that seems to have changed this year. How many millennials voted in the 2018 midterms? The turnout is pretty encouraging.
The 2018 midterms — possibly one of the most important midterm elections races that millennials and Gen Y have lived through — seems to have pushed more young voters to the polls. According to early exit polls, ABC news projected that voters age 18-29 will make up around 13 percent of the overall electorate, which isn't a huge increase from the last midterm elections in 2014, when 11 percent of voters fit that age group. But those aren't the only numbers to pay attention to. According to The Atlantic, more than 3.3 million voters for the 18-29 age group voted early — a 188 percent increase from 2014. In battleground states, youth turnout was even higher: in Texas and Georgia, early turnout by 18-29 year olds was up by a whopping 500 percent in the days before the election, according to The Independent.
Heading into November, there was a strong push to get young people registered and to the polls for the midterm elections on Nov. 6. Celebrities and companies alike jumped on board to do their part. Billy Eichner teamed up with Funny or Die and some of his celeb friends to "Glam Up the Midterms," encouraging young voters, while Full Frontal's Samantha Bee created an app and charted a bus to college campuses to register young voters. Uber and Lyft even offered free and discounted rides to polling places. You get it, everyone really wanted to get young people voting — and it might have worked.
Historically, young voters have had the lowest turnout, and turnout for midterm elections is especially bad. In 2014, less than 20 percent of young people voted, according to The New York Times. “Young people have a pretty bad reputation when it comes to turning out reliably in high numbers. Especially in the midterms," Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, the director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, told the Times. But leading up to Election Day 2018, it seemed that despite their reputation, young voters would show up to the polls in higher numbers. Per a poll released the week of the election by the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School, four out of 10 adults under 30 said they would "definitely vote" — which was definitely a good sign.
While there was a major focus on specifically bringing youngsters to the polls, millennials weren't the only demographic to see a voter turnout bump. According to the United States Elections Project, the tally of advanced ballots from people of all ages as of 1 p.m. ET on Nov. 6 was 38.8 million, compared to 27.4 million in 2014.
Given these early stats, it's safe to say that the 2018 midterms brought more voters out than previous midterm elections. With those early numbers in hand, it also looks like millennials might be en route to changing their bad reputation when it comes to voting.